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James Anderson has been a tackling machine for the past two seasons. His 145 stops were fourth-best in the NFC last season, and with 130 the year prior, Anderson is starting to show that he will be a mainstay in the 100-tackle club on a yearly basis.
But Anderson isn't just a great tackler, he's also good in coverage. According to Pro Football Focus, Anderson is the best outside linebacker in the NFC South with a 1.11 yards/cover snap ratio. That's a statistic that shows the amount of yards a linebacker allows while in primary coverage compared to the number of snaps he plays in coverage.
Anderson also ranks 14th in the league on Pro Football Focus' pass rush productivity among 4-3 outside linebackers.
It seems as if Anderson might be able to do it all, but he's definitely the least publicized linebacker in the Panthers' starting front seven. Jon Beason is coming back after missing 2011 with an Achilles' issue, and Luke Kuechley was drafted in the first round and is expected to shine instantly.
What do you think about a No. 17 ranking for LB James Anderson?
All three linebackers that start for Carolina have the skills to register 100 tackles in 2012. But in reality, the more versatile Anderson may be asked to focus less on the ball-carrier and more on getting to the quarterback or in coverage schemes.
Anderson could become one of those linebackers who's dangerous—and by that I mean really dangerous—on a number of different levels. He might put up some staggering attack and coverage numbers while Beason and Kuechley lead the team in tackles.
The 2012 Bleacher Report Top 25 Players in the NFC South List
17. James Anderson, LB, Carolina Panthers
Top 25 List (by team)
Carolina Panthers: 3
Top 25 List (by position)